Upper Sorbian Grammar
Alphabet and pronunciation
The following table lists the letters and digraphs of the Upper Sorbian alphabet, the phonemes which they usually represent and rough English (or other) equivalents to the sounds of those phonemes. The digraphs dź
are treated as independent letters of the alphabet, whereas all the other digraphs given in brackets are not.
|Ch ch||k͡x||word initially: Cockney cab|
|x||other position: Scotts loch|
|Ł ł||β||Spanish lava|
|Ó ó||o||Cockney yawn|
|R r||ʀ||French Paris|
|W w||β||Spanish lava|
|(Wj wj)||ɥ||French nuit|
Voicing and devoicing
Upper Sorbian obstruents are subject to voicing and devoicing in certain positions.
At the end of a word, all voiced obstruents become devoiced, ex. chlěb [ k͡xlep ] bread
, chlěb a woda [ k͡xlep a βɔda ] bread and water
, unless the next word of an utterance begins with a voiced obstruent, ex. chlěb žiwjenja [ k͡xleb ʒiɥɛɲa ] bread of life
In the latter position, ie. word-finally when the next word begins with a voiced obstruent, unvoiced obstruents become voiced, čłowjek dyrbi [ t͡ʃβɔɥɛg dɪrbʲi ] a man must
, in other cases they remain unvoiced, ex. čłowjek móže [ t͡ʃβɔɥɛk moʒɛ ] a man can
In a consonant cluster consisting of obstruents the consonants are either all voiced or all voiceless, regardless the spelling of the words. The actual pronunciation is determined by the quality of the last obstruent in the cluster, ex.
As a rule, the stress falls on the first syllable of a word, ex. budźeće [ bˈud͡ʒɛt͡ʃɛ ] you (plur.) will be
, čłowjekojo [ t͡ʃβˈɔɥɛkɔjɔ ] men
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